Thursday, October 22, 2009

Titanic Collapse and a Predator without bite

The season is still young for both the Titans and the Predators, but with both on a six game losing streak, it feels like the season is all but done.
  • I know that the NHL season has just begun, but with the Preds in a six game slide, it almost feels like it is going to be a very long season. After winning their first two games, the Predators have been outscored 22-6. Defense and goaltending were once the mainstay for the Preds. Now it seems like it is just another weak point in the team. One bright note is emerging young talent Colin Wilson. Wilson scored is first goal in last night's 3-2 loss to the Bruins. Wilson has been getting great looks in front of the net and has been distributing the puck well in the offensive zone. Expect Wilson's point total to increase with Jason Arnott on injured reserve. Injuries have plagued the Preds all season long. With the absence of Arnott and Dan Hamuis on defense, the Predators lose veteran presence and leadership. The Predators have been streaky in the past, so expect them to get on a few small winning streaks when Arnott and Hamuis return.
  • The Titans suffered their worst defeat in franchise history last Sunday when they lost to the overpowering Patriots 59-0. An injury ridden secondary was exactly what Patriot's quarterback Tom Brady needed to get back on track. With the absence of Cortland Finnegan, Nick Harper, and Vincent Fuller; Brady threw for 6 touchdown passes and 5 in one quarter. This type of beating is one you only see in video games. I personally did not get to watch the game, but it seems like i did not miss much. When I watched highlights of the game, it looked like the Titans' just quit. There were only two players that looked like they were trying the whole game. Those two players were Keith Bulluck and Chris Johnson. The Titans are going into a well needed bye week this weekend. The fans are on edge and are wanting to see results fast. Earlier this week, Jeff Fisher was seen at a charity event with a Peyton manning Colts' jersey on. Many of the fans that I have talked to are livid by what he did. I think this is an overreaction. What a lot of people don't realize is that he was introducing Tony Dungy at the event. It was a simple joke that people are blowing out of proportion. With that said, I would rather see him on the practice field trying to make adjustments for the second half. The Titans' will be able to heal up this week and host Jacksonville the following weekend. The schedule looks favorable in the second half of the season with them facing teams such as the Jaguars, Rams, Seahawks, and Bills. Jeff Fisher is too good of a head coach to let the team spiral out of control. I expect the titans to finish 7-9 this season.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

The weekend played host to three games in Tennessee. We had the Titans, Predators, and the Volunteers who all played at home. The Titans and Predators had no luck against their respected opponents, however; the Volunteers were able to put together an impressive victory over their heated rivals, the Georgia Bulldogs.

  1. Titans vs. Colts (L, 9-31): In years past, this game was one that would come down to the last possession of the game. This was not the case last night. The Titans looked like a team the was dejected and had no hope. The Colts were able to get an early lead and never looked back once they got it. The Titans' offense looked pathetic out there. The problem with receivers dropping passes proved evident once again last night. I can think of at least five times off the top of my head when the Titans' receivers dropped passes that him them in the hands. Most of their dropped balls were in crucial third down plays which ended up killing out drive. My roommate(Eric Bigness) put it best when he said it looks like the Titans have no "swagger." The season is only going to get harder for the Titans.
  2. Predators vs. Sabres (L, 0-1): The Predators season has just begun, and already we are starting to question the offensive power they have. Predators' goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 41 of 42 shots faced in a losing effort on Saturday. That performance from a goalie will usually get you a win on most nights. Predators first-round draft pick from 2007, Colin Wilson, is hoping to be the answer. Colin Wilson single-handedly took Boston University to the NCAA national championship game earlier in the year. With Colin Wilson and a healthy Steve Sullivan, look for the Predators to pick up the scoring in the near future.
  3. Volunteers vs. Bulldogs (W, 48-19): This was a key win for Lane Kiffin and his Volunteers. The Vols were a mere 2-3 coming into the showdown with the Bulldogs. The defense played exceptional as always and the offense looked like they were able to get in rhythm. Jonathan Crompton had a career day with 300+ passing yards and four touchdown throws. I believe the defining moment for the Vols season came late in the third quarter after Crompton's 50-yard touchdown bomb. After the touchdown throw, the entire Volunteer team gathered in a circle and sang Rocky Top with the fans (this was truly a moment that would have given any UT fan goosebumps). This game may just have been the turning point the Vols have been looking for this season.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

State of the Titans

The Tennessee Titans are off to a dismal start this season. Most of this is due to the lack of a pass rush. A lot of spectators can take the easy way out and say it is because of the departure of Albert Haynesworth. Albert was a big loss to the Titans defense, but if you consider what he has done this year with the Redskins, he has been relatively quiet. So to say that the Titans lack of pass rush comes from the departure of Haynesworth is irrelevant for this season. I believe that the biggest reason why the Titans pass rush and secondary are lacking is former defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz leaving for Detroit. New defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil has not lived up to what Jim Schwartz did with the Titans defense. Going by the first four games of the season, it looks like the secondary is almost confused and doesn't know what to do in late game situations. It almost looks like Cecil has the linebackers and secondary playing prevent defense. The corners are playing ten yards off the receivers and the safeties are playing even deeper than that. I have always believed that prevent defense is a way to "prevent" yourself from winning. Any time you give a quarterback more than four seconds in the pocket they are going to pick any defensive unit apart. It also looks like Cecil is almost trying to hard to solve the pass rush problem. Cecil has tried putting together blitz packages and rotating players in and out on the front line. Blitz packages have not yet worked for the Titans this season. Every time the Titans have blitzed, the secondary has left a hole in the defense thus leaving a man open every time. Part of the reason for the secondary lacking is because of injuries to Nick Harper and Cortland Finnegan. The Titans' defense has been banged up for the past two games. Getting healthy is a key part in any successful team. Tonight's big showdown with the Colts should be a defining moment for the Titans' season. The Titans have always played the Colts tough and tonight should not be any different. Tonight is a chance for the Titans to show the nation on national television what they are capable of. The Titans are too good of a football team to let the season get away from them this early. Expect them to come out guns blazing tonight against the Colts.